January 3, 2019 9:05 pm

Friday, Explore Food, Culture, and Science with Anthony Bourdain and Neil deGrasse Tyson

Before his untimely death in 2018, we were lucky enough to sit down again with chef, author, and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain. After you listen to this episode one thing will become clear, if it wasn’t clear already – he will be missed.

On the Season 10 premiere episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with returning StarTalk guest chef, author, and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain. comic co-host Sasheer Zamata, and food scientist Guy Crosby to examine the intersection between science, food, and culture. To start, we explore Anthony’s early interactions with science, like dissecting frogs, and how experiences like that shaped his views on food and culture.

Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Anthony Bourdain.

Shown: Neil deGrasse Tyson and Anthony Bourdain. Credit: Brandon Royal.

Why does one thing taste good to me and taste bad to you? You’ll find out the science behind why people don’t like to eat certain foods. Discover how flavor is created in your brain, and Neil and Sasheer bond over their shared dislike of candy corn. We also explore the role of science in the kitchen. Anthony tells us why food is not necessarily about freshness but about the decay process. We also explore the difference between fermentation and regular rotting, and what happens to food in space!

Then, we move into the world of spice. We investigate the connections between geography and spicy food. StarTalk All-Stars host and primatologist Natalia Reagan tests some of the world’s spiciest hot sauces alongside hot sauce guru Noah Chaimberg at the HEATONIST shop in Brooklyn. (If you haven’t seen Hot Ones, a web-series where celebrities answer hot questions while eating even hotter wings, be sure to check it out. A good place to start would be with one of my personal favorite episodes which features StarTalk guest Terry Crews and you can watch our very own Neil deGrasse Tyson contemplate the universe over hot wings.)

After our ventures into the world of spice, we move on to the world of molecular gastronomy. Chemical scientist “SciBabe” Yvette d’Entremont joins the discussion to help us wrap our heads around some of the latest trends in food culture. Guy gives us a demo of reverse cooking with liquid nitrogen. We answer your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about the truth of organic foods. Lastly, we investigate lab-grown meat. All that, plus, Anthony speaks on his culinary adventures in Antarctica and how climate change will impact cuisine directly.

Please join us tomorrow night for Food, Science, and Culture, with Anthony Bourdain at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen